Who wakes up at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning before the sun is out, and drives to the Marriott World Center while sipping caffeine and belting out unintelligible lyrics to whatever music is being played on the radio at such an early hour (in a futile attempt to wake the senses) – to arrive in a parking lot full of vehicles and shuffle uncoordinated feet towards a sea of other similarly situated folks, just to then get on another bus, in order to then perform manual labor in the sun with a group of strangers for the benefit of strangers? Team EG does!
This was the second year Eraclides Gelman assembled a group of willing volunteers to pitch in during the Give Kids the World Service Day in conjunction with the 2017 WCI Convention. Give Kids the World Village is an 84-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
There were over 700 volunteers who participated this year on a multitude of different projects throughout the resort. Our firm was assigned with the task of erecting a wooden fence and applying a coat of weather proofing sealant. Not only did some of us learn how to install a fence and sharpen our teambuilding skills, but we were helping supply “manpower” (women included) for a greater purpose. Give Kids the World Resort is an amazing and magical place for families in need of respite from dealing with the realities of having a child with a life-threatening illness. On the bus ride over, we were educated on the history and founding of Give Kids the World, the experiences it provides, and the lives it has touched since opening in 1989.
Many people don’t volunteer in general because they feel as though they don’t have enough time for themselves as it is. Let me tell you, when you make an effort to help others in any capacity, not only are you helping the cause you are serving, but you will learn that it actually feels good! Involving yourself in a volunteer project brings together folks and creates a sense of community.
Part of the magic of volunteering at Give Kids the World Service Day is seeing professionals from all different backgrounds within the workers’ compensation community band together and work toward a common goal – ultimately, to bring joy to the children and their families. Our firm was truly honored and humbled to join the ranks of the many who turned out for this event. It really is a small sacrifice to make the time to volunteer for such a worthy cause. We anticipate doubling our numbers for the service day at next year’s convention. If anyone is interested in joining Team EG on August 18, 2018, please contact me, Sean Callahan, at email@example.com. Further information can also be found at http://www.gktw.org.